Tuesday, March 2, 2010

From Alec: February 16, 2010

Hello everyone,

Everything is going pretty good down here in very East Mesa. I said in my subject 'County Island' because apparently this is so far East Mesa that Mesa county doesn't like to claim it, and Apache Junction says it's not AJ - so people here call it the 'County Island'. We cover three wards: Crismon, Oasis Verde, and Boulder Mtn. All of our investigators are in Crismon ward at the moment and we have two progressing ones that we are both excited about. At the moment we have no work at all in Boulder Mountain ward (did have some LAs and a referral, but neither panned out for us to do anything) because they are a very affluent area with almost all gated communities - if we stop to talk with people in the communities we'll get kicked out (that's what Elder Hadley said, but I think we'll test it ;)

We are teaching a lady named S. - she has a baptismal date for the 27th of February and is doing very well. Her husband was raised in Utah and knows so much about the church and church history (though he's a Catholic). He is very supportive, though, and sat in on the last lesson we had on the Law of Chastity and Tithing. She had a neat experience on Sunday too - I had to teach the gospel principles class (which is a hilarious story in itself, you'll hear it when I get home) and I decided (in Sacrament meeting, I usually don't procrastinate that long...) to teach about Freedom to Choose. It was a good discussion and Sylvia was there in the class even though we didn't see her in Sacrament meeting. She shared a comment that she had a choice this morning after waking up later than normal; she could come still or stay at home. She said that she decided to come because she would feel empty inside if she didn't and she knew she would feel the Spirit here. That, of course, is music to missionaries’ ears. Great lady, I'm excited to be here for her baptism.

We are also teaching an elderly lady named D. She has only missed one Sunday since she started being taught in November of '09. I think she had told missionaries that she doesn't like 'jumping into things' and so I'm not sure they had even tried to give the baptismal commitment. So last week we taught her about the word of wisdom and Elder Hadley committed her to read 1 Nephi 1 and pray about it and promised she would get her answer. We talked on Monday and she said she read it 3 times (Elder Hadley said she wasn't reading much before) and prayed many times too. She didn't feel like she got her answer but we continued talking about her coming to church and she herself said she feels the Spirit there. So we testified she'd already gotten most of her answer and did the baptismal commitment, but she will be leaving March 7 (or so) and be gone for March 13 for her boyfriend's son's major surgery (that's when we tried to set the date). But we could both tell she was willing to get baptized and set the date, so we'll just be praying that everything will work out that she can get baptized sooner than later.

How is little Audrey Hoopes doing? Any news at all or is Jon doing his single college student routine of not giving home any news? Also Laurie and _____?

One last thing to mention - Saturday is a special day... hehe that silly primary song came into my head. But Saturday this last week went great - we had a lesson with this 19 year-old convert, C., about setting goals specifically for a mission. We asked him before we started and he said he and the bishop had sat down and set some goals. So we'll be trying to help him get out on a mission.

Later that night we had a lesson with this LA family. Bro M. is the lifetime member who even remembers with longing when he and his parents went to the temple and were sealed. He's a harley biker who wears leather all the time (he's got this long ponytail too) and works at a bike shop. Good guy though, who knows what is true and that his family needs to get it together and get to the temple, but said he feels unworthy to even meet with the bishop. We had the lesson and talked about the plan of Salvation after watching a little video about it on the D&C/Church history DVD Jon gave me a while back. The Spirit came into their home and we all felt it, Sister M. (who Elder Hadley has never seen at church - just Bro M. and the oldest son, V.) said she would like their family to get sealed. Then the next day on Sunday they all showed up! the whole family came for Sacrament meeting. We love that family and should be working with them alot to get them truly active and temple worthy. Oh and just a funny tidbit - V. wears (both times I've been over at their house) black shirts with ripped jeans, a black baseball cap and has a long dark mullet haircut so he looks exactly like Wayne of Wayne’s World!!! It makes me chuckle every time. Also at Church Bro M. just had his hair out and long and it's all blond frizzy so he looked almost exactly like the scientist guy in "Back to the Future".

Whew, man they are great. I love this work, and it is work... When you work hard and follow the Spirit in faith there is nothing better. I realized once again what we are fighting for this Sunday. Had some interesting street contacts (one drunkard, another guy who said 'Dust your feet off and leave', and a 'Mormon hater' from Utah, and many others) and it just got me feeling like I didn't feel like it was worth it to try to talk to anybody. Then we had dinner with a member family. The Spirit and peace that is in the home of a worthy, loving family who is sealed together by the holy priesthood of God in his holy Temple is something that is so precious and sweet. At no other time in my life will I be able to fight with all of my strength and attention for the safety and strength of families than on my mission. Especially at a time when Satan is trying so hard to make everyone miserable. Always go forward with faith and perfect love,

Elder Hoopes

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